Box Office: ‘Pacific’ on the Rim of Disappointment Stateside, Beat By ‘Grown Ups,’ ‘Despicable Me’ Sequels

"Pacific Rim" $384.4m

Pacific Rim” landed in second place Friday with $14.6 million, which is about the best it can expect to do this weekend as it gets overtaken by a critically-smeared sequel and a beloved toon holdover.

Warner Bros.’ and Legendary Pictures’ giant-robot-meets-giant-monster actioner started the frame strongly with a higher-than-expected $3.6 million from late Thursday showings and an 11th hour spike in advance ticket sales — a typical early turnout for fanboy-driven pics. However, even this modest momentum doesn’t appear as though it will hold, as the $185 million-plus budgeted pic looks like it will fall to third place around $38 million on Sunday.

The really contentious battle is happening above “Pacific Rim,” where Sony’s “Grown Ups 2” and Universal-Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable Me 2” may become more or less tied for first.

Pre-weekend predictors had “Despicable Me 2” holding first in its soph sesh, but it now looks like both films will walk away with $43 million this weekend, “Grown Ups 2” perhaps with a slight edge on the toon.

Friday, “Grown Ups 2” earned $16.3 million whereas “Despicable Me 2” took $13.4 million, below “Pacific Rim” but an unfair indicator of box office success as families  tend to avoid the Friday night rush at plexes.

“Pacific Rim’s” hopes for salvation now lie with international auds. Pic has earned $19.3 million to date from 38 markets, which reps about 45% of the int’l landscape. It has yet to open in China or Japan, which are expected to give the film a solid boost.

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  1. Will Pacific Rim after all is being slapped by the competition in the US. Too many movies out. Barely going to make probably 100-110 million at the end of its run in the US. But Guillermo del Toro is being having a better luck overseas when the movie already passed 125 millions with a lot of big markets to go. Not a surprise cause the way the movie is structure for an international audience.

  2. Wade Wilson says:

    It’s pathetic when something fresh (at least in live-action, this is very much an anime-inspired concept) gets beat out by some lame kids CG movie and crappy comedy by aging washed up has-beens. Pacific Rim was a LOT of fun, and a great action flick.

  3. Nadir Ahmed says:

    nly reason Pacific Rim is flopping in America is because its not your typical blockbuster where America or an american is saving the world in America. Large parts of the movie is based in Hong Kong, with up to 5 actors from the film English and another Japanese. The american actors are a smaller minority in the film. American audiences cannot stand this, they want there Blockbusters to be patriotic to Uncle Sam like the Transformers movies

    • Stephanie Evergreen says:

      I agree, it did have a lot of things that the general audience in the U.S would dislike, such as not having one American save the whole world. But I am SO GLAD it didn’t, I’m tired of that crap. Americans should get off their cocky self-obsessed throne and enjoy the diversity in the world.

    • Good point but is not fair calling a dissapointment just by the first weekend, when the movie is competition with two sequels with more known actors. And I don’t know the Math here, maybe because the movie came with positive buzz and a big budget some people were expecting more but still the movie pull out a very similar average per screen in comparasion with DM2 and GU2. The movie is playing in a good number of screens but not compare with the 3500 of Grown ups and the 4000 of DM2. At least with only 3250 screens that mean it probably keep that amount going forward next weekend and the drop will probably not be that bad. Next week another movie I really want to take a look Turbo is coming out, probably will take a bigger jab to DM2.

  4. So PR is disappointing base on what? Does Variaty are psichic now. The Friday number only gives Estimates, is hard to know how some movies will bounce or not on a saturday. Word of Mouth is probably will help PR going forward 88% approval in Rotten tomatoes from users and 72% by critics( A number is kind of high for a movie like this) Does Variety and people realized that Despicable Me and Grown Ups are sequels with a fan base and know actors? DM2 is playing in 4,000 theaters, GU2 in 3500 and PR in 3,200, Does people think is fair to compare?

  5. wind says:

    I dont get these critics. They say that the movie bad because it had bad story or the chracter development was bad. I watched the movie myself and I thought it had good plot/story. And even if it did had bad story, I came for the action, and trust me, their was a lot of action in the movie. The effects was amazing and I was never board. Always on the edge of my seat. just because critics say it bad dose mean their 100% correct. They act like they know everything when it comes to movies and then they bevome very picky when they watch movies. They talk about stuff in a movie I dont care about. So this is what I recommend for you. become your own critic and watch the movie for yourself. I thought the movie was awsome.

  6. michael n. says:

    I realy dont get these other critics. They complain that the movie sucks because it has bad story, or bad character development. I watched the movie myself and I thought it had good plot. For the entire 2 hours of the movie I was never board. And even if the story/plot was bad I did not even came for that, I came for the action of godzilla vs huge robots and that exactly what I got. The effects was visually amazing and the actions sequence was creative. So in conclusion dont listen to other people and assume that what they say is 100% true. See the movie for yourself. You wont regret it

  7. CAG says:

    When you take a spin at a horrible Japanese show like “Ultraman” it will always be mutton dressed up like lamb. This was an obvious high concept pay check for those involved.
    Enjoy it while it lasts, cause its going bye bye.
    – The Check Signer

  8. Jay Plainsafe says:

    Maybe, just maybe, could the film not be doing well because it’s not very good? I mean, all of the action scenes are technically impressive, but you can barely tell because they take place at night or in the bottom of the ocean or in a hurricane. Maybe the dialogue is just downright awful, with exposition, scientific process explanations and conventional action moments galore? I mean, I’m in Del Toro’s corner no matter how you cut it; I’m a huge fan of his work. But the film was not good at all. It reminded me of why Costner epics started losing money and becoming too self indulgent. It’s a goddamn pity.

    • Geraldo G. says:

      Maybe, just maybe, the film’s been smeared by Variety and a self-fulfilling prophecy of “it won’t do well at the box office” has been going on for weeks prior to its release? If the movie were truly as awful as you say, would its ratings from fans and critics be as high as they are? For a film with no established property to cling to (like World War Z, Transformers, Avengers, or any other superhero movie) the turn out is actually impressive. The state of Hollywood, reporting, and marketing seem to play more into this than anything about the film itself.

      For the record, I had no trouble distinguishing anything during the action scenes. Yes, they happened at night, but the fighters were well-lit, there were no jump cuts or shaking cameras, and the speed at which the battles progressed gave me plenty of time to take everything in. This was certainly not a Transformers-style affair where the camera is having a seizure.

      • Stephanie Evergreen says:

        I agree the fight scenes were awesome, I could clearly see everything even if the fights only occurred at nighttime or during a thunderstorm or underwater.

      • Mac says:

        No man, the previews look bad. Who cares about Might Morphin Power Rangers from the guy who did Pans Labrynth.

    • Dan says:

      Thank you for your honesty buddy!

      • Replyer says:

        Do you really think variety has that much influence over the box office? Like they can change the fate of a movie across the nation? No. This movie failed because appealing only to 14 year old boys doesn’t work, just like sucker punch no women wants to see this. Look at Fast 6 for example, it draws girls as well as guys despite having a very male premise. This movie just appealed to too small am audience.

  9. Matt says:

    Hey, Variety. Could you possibly give any explanation for why your headline and actual article say 2 completely different things? For one, the headline is a lie. You can’t claim that Pacific Rim was beaten by Despicable Me 2 when it wasn’t. You’re predicting that it will be, that’s fine. But you have to qualify that it’s a prediction and not a statement of fact. If the prediction comes true, kudos to you, I guess. However, this is what your headline says:

    “Box Office: ‘Pacific’ on the Rim of Disappointment Stateside, Beat By ‘Grown Ups,’ ‘Despicable Me’ Sequels”

    …and this is what your article says:

    “Friday, “Grown Ups 2″ earned $16.3 million whereas “Despicable Me 2″ took $13.4 million, below “Pacific Rim” but an unfair indicator of box office success as families tend to avoid the Friday night rush at plexes.”

    You say right there that Despicable Me 2 came in behind Pacific Rim. You claim it’s an unfair indicator of success, and you claim all you want, but that’s a *prediction*, not a fact. What is your deal here exactly? Why have you hated this movie so much since the beginning?

    The first step in having people take you seriously is to tell the truth.

  10. Robby says:

    Has it crossed anyone’s mind that SOMETHING IS CHANGING in the US of A. I say the reason one so-called violent, CGI created summer blockbuster after another is failing to do the kind of business it usually does is because kids that are now adolescents and in their teens have experienced one horror after another in REAL life–school massacres, bombings, TV footage of carnage in Iraq and Afghanistan. Isn’t it possible there is a new generation that are turning their backs on violence? I hope so ——-

    • etfp (@etfp) says:

      You’re right. When I was watching Pacific Rim in the theater it brought back harrowing, visceral memories of when I was controlling a 20 story mech and punching alien monsters in the face in Iraq.

      It was so realistic I had to walk out.

    • Marcus says:

      Robby…I think that is an idealist albeit ridiculous notion. Adolescents are the same as they always have been. Very resilient and looking for anything new to keep their attention. If your premise was true then you would also be seeing a drop in sales of all the so-called violent video games on the market. I think the more likely reason is that people are far more tech savvy then we used to be and we can get a ot of these things cheaper or for free. No body wants to pay the ridiculously inflated prices at the theaters when 1. movies barely last a few months anyway before they are released on DVD, and 2. you can easily get all these movies for free online if you know how and where to look. That’s the answer. Maybe it is sad…but I think this is the truth

  11. Sam says:

    Why does Variety hate Pacific Rim so much? I really don’t understand it. For weeks now they have posted one bad article after another about the movie. How bad the flick is tracking in advance and how marketing efforts have shifted gears to try and save it, how it already is a complete disaster …… . I don’t get it. Variety has been nothing but outright hostile about the film.

  12. I don’t know about elsewhere, but here in NC, Pacific Rim is playing 4 times(!?!) total each day, twice in 2D and twice in 3D compared to 10 showings of Grown Ups 2. It’s almost like they want to make sure Grown Ups out performs it.

    • Stephanie Evergreen says:

      Perhaps…it is because Grown Ups too is a comedy idiotic movie that has more Americans that Pacific Rim? I mean…it’s the US of A we’re talking about here…they love seeing themselves anywhere specially as the lone heroes in apocalyptic movies, which isn’t really true in this movie and why it’s even more awesome.

  13. BMN says:

    “Pacific Rim” was awesome and early indicators to the contrary, will do just fine.

  14. Nadir Ahmed says:

    only reason Pacific Rim is flopping in America is because its not your blockbuster where America or an american is saving the world in America. Large parts of the movie is based in Hong Kong, with up to 5 actors from the film English and another Japanese. The american actors are a smaller minority in the film. American audiences cannot stand this, they want there Blockbusters to be patriotic to Uncle Sam like the Transformers movies

    • C-money says:

      No, it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with how American audiences prefer the mediocre safety of the things they know (the two sequels, Grown Ups 2 and Despicable Me 2) to pretty much anything else. They want something safe where they know exactly what they’re getting. Pacific Rim is too new and too scary, not based on toys or comic books or novels. It’ll kill it internationally though. Also I think some solid word of mouth with make it more of a sleeper hit.

      • 21stCenturyguy says:

        C-money, you are right on the money. You only have to look at the Generally favorable reviews, and PR forums to see the huge instant popularity this movie has had with many giving high praise, and stating its the best movie they have ever seen. As word spreads more will see it and I predict a longer run with good taking. But International Box office will be where the difference will be made.

      • JDL says:

        Elysium is the one I’m waiting to see.

    • JDL says:

      Or maybe Transformers was just really better than Pacific Rim,I know that’s hard to believe just because you people hate Michael Bay so much. ;)

    • K says:

      Absolutely and utterly true. Americans can’t take watching other people save the day. That’s how arrogant and self-absorbed they are.

      • Dan says:

        James Bond?! Last time I checked, he wasn’t American.

      • Dan says:

        Americans don’t save the day. The entire country is made up of bullies and cowards who swoop in and help others for their own personal gain you fool. Read about your own history moviedude

      • Moviedude says:

        Really ? Probably because we always do.

      • Diego says:

        Funny thing though: Raleigh Beckett is american. But I agree with both of you

  15. Wayne says:

    Well, it’s early days yet. With loads of big movies coming this Summer.. It’s just a question of who gets to watch which movie. Whatever the moviegoers take their fancy.. Films are big business.. Have to see which films have done well and which films are total flop. All in the name of the game.

  16. windogtx says:

    If you guys would like to hire someone who is an actual fan of film and movies, I’m available. Looks like there might be a good opportunity there.

  17. Coco Suma says:

    Umn guys there bases their numbers on Friday only not Saturday and Sunday come Monday you’ll know which movie grossed more. I do agree someone at Variety hates PR but I find it kinda of funny I mean did you read the story headline… Sounds kinda childish “there no way it will make more on Saturday and Sunday:” I’m paraphasing. LOL I enjoying this thanks Variety this is fun! BTW I heard that a lot of people want to see the film again Oh uh! Drama bulding…

  18. Guy says:

    Why are fanboys on here hating on variety for reporting the news? They didn’t force people to see grow ups instead. Just because your movie bombed doesn’t mean you can hate on the article. It’d be worse if they made up some claim that pacific rim was doing well. 185 million budget and a 30 million opening weekend = fail.

    • Wanker says:

      That’s what these teenage and early-twenty something kids don’t get — Pacific Rim is a terrible film. The pre-release tracking predicted it and now the box office grosses are confirming it.

  19. SloganMedia says:

    I was say “No wonder Pacific was outgrossed by GrownUPs, you had basically told everyone all week it was gonna happen. Self-fulfilling much?”… but apparently EVERYbody else sees it the way I do.

  20. CoolLoon2 says:

    I’m just a normal person out here in the heartland who loves blockbusters and below is my tweet after seeing Pacific Rim. Friday night at 7pm I walked into a huge suburban AMC IMAX 3D with great anticipation but knew there were problems when 1) I was able to get a ticket an hour before the flick, and 2) when the theater was only 1/3 full. CGI and 3D were great but story (big lapses), acting, timing, lumbering-though-huge leading monsters who couldn’t even out-swim the Kaiju were simply not up to snuff. I mean, why on earth would we even build the Jaegers to do fist-to-cuffs with monsters? Where were our valiant resourceful hunky Midwest farm-boy Reservists and our decommissioned nuclear missiles resurrected by great Americans from dormant silos to save our intercontinental neighbors? Why didn’t America rescue the World like we always do? Why on earth did Alba blow himself and the kid up when they knew it wouldn’t work? Weird.
    @CoolLoon2 15h
    #PacificRim @PacificRim IMAX 3D. Alba hot. Flick ridiculous. Where were bunkerbusters? Slow klunky Jaegers. Emmerich et al shoulda done it!

    • Stephanie Evergreen says:

      Haha wow your comment is funny. “Why didn’t America rescue the World like we always do?” Thank you, for confirming the stereotype of Americans. It’s a pity that everything has to be about you lot when the world is so beautifully diverse.

  21. Also can anyone tell me why we should be shocked to see Pacific Rim come behind a SEQUEL to a film that grossed $162m a few years ago? A new film, not based on an existing property and directed by a respected, but genre bound director. Oh and a film that is a mix of 2 genres, neither of which are frequently, if ever, given the live action “Western” treatment.

  22. Stephan Klose says:

    Really, you guys used to be the stardard by which everything was measured. I paid $600 a year to receive your magazine in the mail each week here in Austria. These days your are just cynical and the quality of your writing has really dropped. Please pick up the pace. Variety used the be the non plus ultra in the entertainment world.

  23. Stephan Klose says:

    Shouldn’t you rather report on how audiences don’t care for quality and flock in to see Grown Ups 2 instead of a quality flick like Pacific Rim? I really seems you or some of your contributers carry a grudge for this movie.

  24. Footer says:

    Damn…you guys at Variety really hate this movie and/or del Toro.

  25. Anyone in the Trade media able to tell me why they are desperate for EVERY film that comes out this summer to fail. Predicting failure all over the place and dancing with Glee when they are right: The kings of self fulfilling prophecy and schadenfreude.

    Pacific Rim is essentially introducing a new live action genre to the North American and European markets.. Outside of anime and Mange like Tetsujin 28-go, Battle of The Planets (Gatchaman), Gundam Wing and Neon Genesis Evangelion (All seen by a relatively small group f people) and of course the likes of Godzilla, people simply are not used to this kind of thing. It was always going to open, relatively, low in North America and hope to prosper (Batman Begins style, from good reviews and word of mouth. The real money for this was always going to be international markets, Oriental in particular. People like this film and what it doesn’t need is failure seeking writers telling all and sundry that it is failing and thus creating a negative buzz out of nothing. (Like that asinine Battleship comparison!)

    • Dan says:

      Battle of the Planets?! What about Robotech and Voltron? I grew up in the 80;s and those were way more relevant than Battle of the Planets (G-Force). And really, Transformers is a cousin. And the elephant in the room is probably Power Rangers. Not a comparison $200 million movies aspire to.

      • Dan says:

        @Jonathan Myers…the question wasn’t what came first or what influenced what; it was what people have actually seen. In North America, Robotech and Voltron were more popular than Battle of the Planets by a factor of ten. You could probably fit the number of people in the U.S. who have seen Gundam Wing and Evangelion in room. That is why this movie did not light fires under many behinds to go see it.

      • Macross (Robotech) and Voltron both followed Gatchiman (Battle of the Planets). I was there for all three. Pacific Rim owes it’s influences primarily to Gundam Wing and Evangelion. Nuff said.

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